For the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest franchises of all time old fans and new fans alike are being reminded of how devoted the casts and crews of Star Trek have been to inclusiveness. From the very beginning in 1966, The Original Series pushed boundaries to the limit by having an extremely diverse cast. With Black, White, Asian, Russian, and Scottish cast members, the series depicted a future society blind to race. In fact, Star Trek: The Original Series boasts the first televised interracial kiss, between Lieutenant Uhura and Captain Kirk.
Fortunately, the newest movies in the franchise have devoted a lot of effort to keeping consistent with the values of The Original Series. Fans could almost see it coming when it was revealed on July 7th that one of the main characters, Hikaru Sulu, is gay. However, Takei’s reaction was not what was expected. Although proud that Star Trek is willing to display an openly gay character without flamboyant stereotypes, he is disappointed because Sulu in the original series was not gay. Although this newfound depth into Sulu’s new character may be a distortion of Gene Roddenberry’s original character, the Star Trek franchise should be applauded for continually maintaining the standard to “boldly go where no one has gone before.”
Paramount Pictures recently released a trailer in advance of the premier of Star Trek Beyond (2016), a film scheduled to reach theaters in July. The latest film represents a continuation of a series of science fiction adventure movies based on an alternative reality version of the Star Trek series. Producer Gene Roddenberry created the original series, which gained a large fan base after it reached television in the late 1960s. The TV show aired for many years in syndication and eventually reached a global audience.
Actor Chris Pine plays Captain James T. Kirk in the films set in an alternate timeline. He has appeared in previous sequels, and has also acted in numerous other film and television productions. Some of his other recent films include a supporting role in Horrible Bosses 2 (2014), a comedy about a terrible workplace, and the lead in the action-adventure film Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014). Recently, he made a celebrity appearance at the centennial of the Indy 500 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana on May 29th and lowered the flag to start the event.
The latest adventure of the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise will reportedly focus upon exploring the characters of the crew in greater depth as they struggle to escape from an alien planet. The franchise killed off Captain Kirk’s mentor (played by Bruce Greenwood) during the latest sequel, but many other regular characters in the alternative timeline version will return.